Al Mazayen Championship 2020-21
In January 2022, Qatar Post issued a sheetlet of six stamps (all priced at 3.50 Rials) illustrating three images of a Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) and three pictures of a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). The stamps commemorate the International Falcons and Hunting Festival which I understand the Qatari Society of Al Gannas helps sponsor each year. The Society itself has interests in falconry as well as scientific and veterinary research into falcons and hawks in Qatar, including their migrations
In May 2022, Stamperija issued for the Niger postal authority a sheetlet of four stamps which features Endangered Birds.
The sheetlet depicts the following birds: Top-left: Giant Ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea) from the family of Ibises and Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae) which has “Critically Endangered” status; Top-right: Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus) from the family of Falcons (Falconidae) which has “Endangered” status; Bottom-left: Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) from the family of New World Warblers (Parulida) which has “Endangered” status; and Bottom-right: Negros Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba keayi) from the family of Pigeons and Doves (Columbidae) which has “Critically Endangered” status.
The two top row birds have previously appeared on stamps: the Giant Ibis, about five times; and the Mauritius Kestrel, about 10 times. The most recent issue of the Mauritius Kestrel was by Mauritius Post, as reported in a previous blog article.
Mention “the Blue Flamingo” and I immediately think of a seedy nightclub in a 1940s film noir, possibly starring Alan Ladd, William Bendix or Robert Dennehy. But perhaps that was the Blue Dahlia. So, it was rather uplifting to meet, for the first time, the real Blue Flamingo from the bird world. Though I am not sure that you would find too many of these birds in Grenada.
This is perhaps because the supply of blue shrimp is not sufficient to sustain the bird. Interestingly, both the IUCN Red List and Birds of the World are silent on the Blue Flamingo, which leads me to conclude that it is in the “Data Deficient” conservation category, that I have come across for a few birds that I have looked at in stamp issues.
Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus)
Introduction This news item, about the new National Bird of Mauritius, is courtesy of the May 2022 edition of Stamp Magazine, supplemented by information from the Mauritius Government website.
On 12 March 2022, the Republic of Mauritius celebrated its 30th anniversary. As part of these celebrations, Mauritius Post issued a single new stamp illustrating the Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus) as the new national bird, replacing the extinct Dodo.
The Mauritius Government website says of the new national bird:
“The Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus) is unique to Mauritius and is one of the nine endemic bird species still left on the island. The species was saved in-extremis with an increase from just four birds in 1974, including a single breeding female, to a peak of about 600 individuals. However, because of the degradation of the Mauritian native forests, the kestrels are now found only on the eastern and western part of the island – where they continue to face the effects of habitat degradation and predators. The actual population of the Mauritius Kestrel in the wild amounts to some 350 individuals“
Hopefully, the nomination of the Mauritius Kestrel as the new national bird will give greater impetus to conservation efforts both by the public authorities and wildlife and bird protection charities.
On 21 June 2022, Australian Post issued a set of two stamps that celebrate the Norfolk Island Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae undulata). The Norfolk Island Morepork, a small, brown-mottled Owl, is an exclusive resident to the island; and is considered a distinctive sub species of the New Zealand Morepork (Ninox nouvaeseelandiae). It is one of the world’s rarest owls. Locally, the Norfolk Island Morepork owl was also known as the Boobook.
But first, before looking at the current status of the Morepork, we must begin with the stamps.
The stamp set consists of two individual stamps and a sheetlet, all of which are issued by Australia Post under the “Norfolk Island” country designation.